Ohio State’s incredible recruiting hot streak on the defensive side of the ball continues.
Linebacker Mitchell Melton, a 3-star prospect from Olney, Maryland, just committed to the Buckeyes’ 2020 class. He is the fifth defensive commit to verbal to OSU since mid-June.
I’d like to thank God, my family, friends, and coaches.
Committed to The Ohio State University. #Gobucks
-Proverbs 29:23 pic.twitter.com/3oScMfgcjZ
— Mitchell Melton. (@m17m__) July 3, 2019
Melton plays for Good Counsel High School, the same school that produced former OSU linebacker Keandre Jones.
Melton chose the Buckeyes over offers from schools like Michigan, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin.
He is a 6-foot-3, 235-lb prospect ranked as the No. 43 outside linebacker in the 2020 class and the 656th-best player overall.
His highlight reel showcases good lateral quickness as Melton covers a lot of ground to track down ball-carriers and receivers in space.
He is covering slot receivers on a number of plays, but also comes up in run support and shows good awareness to knock down passes as well.
The standard caveats apply here, of course: Everyone looks good in their highlight reels. But it’s a promising sign for the Buckeyes that Melton showed an ability to handle a number of different responsibilities.
Given his size, Melton will begin his career at linebacker for the Buckeyes, but could eventually grow into some type of edge rusher.
He is the second linebacker in the class, following the commitment of 4-star New Jersey prospect Cody Simon last weekend.
Melton’s commitment may close the book on linebackers for OSU in the 2020 cycle.
The Buckeyes have several other positions of greater need that they have to fill this year. And given the transition to the Bullet in some situations, there may be fewer snaps available for linebackers overall. OSU’s top recruiting target for their hybrid Bullet position is California prospect Kourt Williams.
Following Melton’s commitment, Ohio State remains atop the Big Ten in recruiting rankings for 2020. The Buckeyes are No. 4 nationally in the 247 class rankings, behind only Clemson, Alabama, and LSU, and have fewer commitments than any of those three programs.
You can watch Mitchell Melton’s junior season highlights below.
[Header photo courtesy 247 Sports]